How to choose a folk musical instrument: the tips by the Doff Guitars masters

  • 22 April 2018

The masters of Doff Guitars shared with us valuable advices on the choice of folk string musical instruments, and also they talked about production and history of the company and its goals.


What advice can you give to musicians about choosing a musical instrument?

There are several options how to choose an instrument. If you are just starting and do not have the experience and skills, then perhaps the most unmistakable way is to ask for help from the "senior" friend. It can be a musician, one of your relatives or a teacher. If you are studying at a music school or a private teacher, ask him / her to help you to choose the instrument, to go to the store with you or to look at the online catalog. Most likely, the teacher will not refuse to help his / her student in choosing the instrument. And if you do not have a teacher, it is not so difficult to find one in our time, and a few lessons from the teacher will be useful to everybody.

It is always better to see an instrument alive. Ideally, you and the person who helps with the selection will like the instrument. By the way, you do not need to ask a guitarist to go to the store with you (for example, if you choose a guitar). You can invite any experienced musician.

Never judge by the appearance. The instrument may not look too appealing to you, but it may sound great. Many beginners are attracted by glossy varnish or bright colors (for example, black or red guitars). But in fact, a thick glossy coating is rather harmful, it clogs a tree and silences the sound. First of all, listen to the voice of the instrument. Find the sound that is close to you and do not forget about the convenience of the play and quality. Different wood creates a different sound. Maple-gives brightness and" lightness", and mahogany gives a soft velvet sound.

If possible, listen to a professional playing the musical instrument you are looking for. It’s even better to listen to several performers. Compare their sound, try to understand exactly how do you want to sound, focus on this feeling. You can go to youtube and listen to recordings of famous artists there. But in this case, you should understand that the sound through your speakers or headphones will be different from what you hear in the store.

In our time, there are not so many different brands that produce folk instruments and the choice is not so great. If you know exactly what do you want, then most likely, the choice will be minimized. You will have only a few options in the price category you need.

If you live in a large city, where there are shops with the instruments you need, then come there and choose. Look at the quality - the amount of excess glue, evenness of the fretboard and frets. Of course, make sure that the instrument does not have small cracks in the tree and protruding ends of the frets. The height of the strings should not be too big (play should be comfortable), but not too low (otherwise it will be difficult to play).

It happens that when you have already bought the instrument, then eventually you find some defects. This is not always a reason to be upset, but it is a reason to take the instrument to the master. He will not only fix these problems, but also rebuild it so that it is more convenient to play.

We would advise that all new musical instruments are taken first to the master. This applies even to expensive and well-known guitars, which cost more than one hundred thousand rubles. It’s just like to carry new pants to the tailor, so he hems them to your height.

And the last thing I would like to say - buying a new musical instrument, learn how to store it properly. Then it will bring joy and warmth into your life!

History of the company

The history of guitars and folk instruments under the brand "Doff" began in 2002, when a group of enthusiasts, dreaming to make their own acoustic guitars, bought the equipment and the remaining materials from once famous Lunacharsky factory of musical instruments in Leningrad. But Rome wasn't built in one day, and it took a while to figure out how to produce decent guitars.

Later we realized that just copying foreign guitars doesn't look very promising, so we decided to create something different from anything else.

At this point we’ve received a guitar made by Ivan Krasnoshchekov, the great Russian luthier. This miniature guitar with seven strings really impressed us, it sounded much clearer and fuller than any modern one. That's when we realized what the guitar of our dream looks like, and what will be our source of inspiration in the future.

We visited various museums of musical instruments and restored many old Russian guitars, which helped us to understand how to preserve the traditions of Russian artists and combine them with modern technologies in the production of guitars. All of our musical instruments owe their existence to the famous Russian luthier, Krasnoschekova, Arguenon, Paserbsky, Zimmerman. Even now, many of our models are built on the images of Russian seven-string guitars.

Their secrets, plus state-of-the-art technology, help us to create guitars with a unique sound that is unlike anything else, with a beautiful and slightly vintage finish. A good acoustic seven-string guitar is not so easy to find in our time. Basically, these guitars are bought from the masters, but not everyone can afford it. In addition, you need to find a master, trust him, wait until the guitar is ready, and the result may not be what you expect, you can not know in advance what it will turn out at the master. It's always small, but a lottery.

That's why we decided to produce such guitars with more attractive price and choice in the model range. And you know, we do not regret about this decision =)


Recently we released a few parlours that are remembered as the romantic guitars of the past centuries.

Moreover we pay attention to Russian folk instruments. Balalaika and domra, though not so popular, now have a significant influence in Russian culture.

We try to use only good wood, the main emphasis is sound, because it is the first important thing for the musician. We completely abandoned the instruments made of laminate and plywood. Now all our musical instruments are made only from the array. Yes, they require more careful storage and care, but for us – they are not just instruments, they are musical instruments that inspire you to practice music. And music awakens the best feelings in people!